Promoting Best Practices in the Tenure Process

Student Author(s)

Ashley Krause
Gabbi Werner

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Llena Chavis, Social Work, Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown, Psychology

Document Type


Event Date



The current study is an evaluation of pre-tenured and tenured faculty and their practical and emotional experiences to the tenured process. Previous empirical evidence suggests that post tenured professors are less happy with tenure than they thought they would be (Wilson, 2012). The topic of tenure and the academic’s experience around tenure abounds in popular literature, however the gaps are plentiful in regards to peer reviewed, empirical research. While the literature separately discusses various aspects of acculturation, flourishing, gender, race, culture shock, emotional processes, and the abilities for professors to affectively forecast their emotions, the current study jointly integrates all of these topics. An online snowball survey sample over the course of two and a half months allowed for geographically and institutionally diverse subjects. Preliminary results from this study suggest that higher levels of mainstream acculturation, alignment with the institution’s values, and guidance leads to higher levels of general positive emotion. Second, higher levels of heritage acculturation lead to higher levels of general positive emotion. Third, mainstream and heritage acculturation are positively correlated with flourishing scores. Additionally, there was also a significant difference between public and private institution faculty feelings toward the tenure process. Pre-tenured faculty members, who show higher levels of anxiety and depression, also display inaccurate affective forecasting of their emotions around the tenure process. The methodology and results will be presented as well as suggestions for institutional opportunities for improvement and future research.


This research was supported by the Nyenhuis Grant.

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